On May 11, 2004, a firefighter conducting a routine building inspection discovered the body of 42-year-old woman on the roof of a building in the Bronx. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the black plastic bag covered the woman’s head and was knotted tightly around her neck. When the body was found, she was barefooted, her sweatshirt pulled up over one of her breasts and her jeans unzipped and pulled partially down. One of two beaded necklaces around her neck was broken and beads were missing. After the plastic bag was peeled from her head, a wound above her right eyebrow and a bruise to her right cheek were noted.
The building at 187th Street is privately owned and used by the City of New York as a temporary housing facility. The defendant resided in the building until May 6, 2004. The hallway of each floor of the building is monitored by two video cameras. Videos in evidence depict the defendant approaching the dead woman and entering his apartment with her on May 5 at 9:08 p.m., stepping back into the hallway and looking at the video camera on May 6 at 2:30 a.m., and carrying the woman’s body to the roof on the same day at 10:40 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the defendant is seen leaving his apartment carrying a piece of white cloth and then reentering the apartment. Five minutes later, the defendant is seen leaving the building carrying his belongings in a black plastic bag. Beads matching those on the woman’s broken necklace were found scattered throughout the defendant’s apartment by a Detective on May 13. Bloodstains were also found on the bedroom wall and door. On May 18, the Detective took the defendant into custody and escorted him to the precinct. While in custody, the defendant made a series of statements of which five were handwritten and one videotaped.
According to the defendant’s statements, the woman accompanied him to his apartment after agreeing to have sex with him in exchange for crack cocaine and money. The defendant stated that during the evening the woman attacked him and he hit her in the head to protect himself. Thereafter the woman became quiet and the defendant fell asleep. The defendant stated that upon waking up the following morning, he heard the woman’s heartbeat, but he later denied hearing it. He added that the woman was bleeding and he placed the plastic bag on her head to stop the blood from spreading and because he couldn’t stand to look at her. Thereafter, he dumped the woman on the roof, gathered his possessions and vacated the building. A grand jury indicted him for the criminal acts of depraved indifference murder and manslaughter in the first degree.